At least 19 killed in Salang Tunnel fire; casualties on the rise

An oil tanker caught fire and exploded in the Salang Tunnel in northern Afghanistan on Saturday evening, leaving over a dozen people dead and more than 37 others wounded.

A Taliban spokesman in Parwan said that 12 people were killed in the northern part of the tunnel and another seven were killed in the southern part.

He also said casualties may rise.

The Salang Pass was closed to traffic after the incident that affected passengers traveling on both sides of the tunnel.

Taliban’s defense ministry said a helicopter and some forces have been sent to help those stranded at both ends of the tunnel.

The Salang Tunnel is a 2.67-kilometer-long tunnel located along the Salang Pass in the Hindu Kush mountains, between Parwan and Baghlan provinces in Afghanistan, about 90 kilometers north of the city of Kabul.

This is one of the worst incidents after a tunnel fire in November 1982 left at least 3,000 people dead.